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MadZiontist

Legit Spacewar! ports?

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The original video game. I think a faithful port is maybe the most sorely missing game from the classic console scene, and gaming in general. It's a grievous omission from a historical perspective. I know there was a 2600 port of it called "Space War". I read that it's sort of a loose port, particularly with the visuals. There was the cancelled "Spacewar 2000" for the Jaguar. There's the excellent looking JavaScript port, JS-Spacewar, but it either has to be played in a browser or a JavaScript front end? (are there any good ones for Android?). Then you have the PDP original, (which can be played in a certain version of M.A.M.E.? but without sound?). I'll have to read up on that again and see what the current status is for running the PDP binaries. It'd be nice if there was a fully playable, user-friendly PDP emulator. I don't think M.A.M.E. (or whatever is currently out there emulating PDP games) is it.

 

What I really want to see though, is a faithful home console port! One that accomplishes the look, sound, and play as close to the original as possible. On a classic console, playable on original hardware or via emulation. I think it would maybe look best on the Vectrex, but play better on the Intellivison or ColecoVision. The ColecoVision would probably give it the best shot to perform well.

 

A port with additonal modes/variations, with new, fun, interesting gameplay mechanics would be great. A modern version with an unlockable classic home port would be amazing on the INTV Amico...but only if the retro port isn't just tacked on, and is true to the original.

 

Most important though is a PDP faithful recreation. I could see CollectorVision doing something like this, considering their excellent Computer Space port by Kiwi. It would have been a dope Chameleon launch title!

 

Why has this not been done yet?! If so, is it some low-key project that might not turn up on search engines that I could be enlightened to?

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Not sure it was an "original" but there is a SPaceWar MS-DOS game, with different options to tweak gameplay.

 

 

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I don’t think anyone has ever really done it, unfortunately. The ports that exist are fine, albeit based more on the arcade game without all the options that game had. The good news is that you can run the PDP versions that have been dumped off paper tapes at the masswerk website (including offline!)

 

https://www.masswerk.at/spacewar/

 

for me the tricky part is no one ever gets the physics right. Spacewar isn’t quite right unless there’s some real mass and momentum to deal with - otherwise it’s just flailing around shooting at each other rather than a strategic fight.

Edited by ubersaurus
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2 hours ago, stupus said:

Vectrex Space Wars?

 

I checked out some info on it and a video. It sounds and looks really good to me. Not exactly like I was thinking, but I plan on getting a Vectrex now! I've been thinking about it for awhile. It really is a system that emulators can't do justice to. Still would like to see a port with the real name "Spacewar!", closer to the original and on a more accessible platform. But I really like it so far.

 

1 hour ago, CatPix said:

Not sure it was an "original" but there is a SPaceWar MS-DOS game, with different options to tweak gameplay.

 

 

 

Not bad. The sounds are kinda much. Too far off from what I'm wanting, plus I want one on a console.

 

1 hour ago, ubersaurus said:

I don’t think anyone has ever really done it, unfortunately. The ports that exist are fine, albeit based more on the arcade game without all the options that game had. The good news is that you can run the PDP versions that have been dumped off paper tapes at the masswerk website (including offline!)

 

https://www.masswerk.at/spacewar/

 

for me the tricky part is no one ever gets the physics right. Spacewar isn’t quite right unless there’s some real mass and momentum to deal with - otherwise it’s just flailing around shooting at each other rather than a strategic fight.

 

Yeah I linked those masswerk versions in the OP. I'm going to need to figure out how to emulate them on a console. I think you can run the PDP binaries in M.A.M.E. which makes that doable. But...

 

Took another look at the PDP original, and read up on it again. Apparently it was originally a 2-player only game. Would especially make that perfect for the INTV Amico. So I guess I'm ammending myself here. I would like something strongly rooted in the graphics, physics, and sound of the PDP original, but with gameplay adapted for a one player mode as well. So far it looks like the Vectrex port is the closest to what I want (if it does have a 1 player mode as well?).

 

I remember seeing somebody on AA post awhile back that they were going to start working on a Spacewar! port for the 2600 (I believe), but nothing ever materialized of it.

 

 

Edited by MadZiontist

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Its a great game on the vectrex. Great phisics and 2 player fun.

I highly recommend a vectrex! Nothing like it and not a bad game on it.

Sadly they have gone up in price alot. But its a great system.

I know some guys get an arcade vector monitor and cab and hook a vectrex console up and make a vectrex arcade too :)

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Vectrex physics are all wrong to me. You accelerate way too fast and don't have the same drift as the PDP game.

 

Also the PDP doesn't have sound, so it's not that MAME is emulating it poorly - it just literally doesn't exist.

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31 minutes ago, stupus said:

Its a great game on the vectrex. Great phisics and 2 player fun.

I highly recommend a vectrex! Nothing like it and not a bad game on it.

Sadly they have gone up in price alot. But its a great system.

I know some guys get an arcade vector monitor and cab and hook a vectrex console up and make a vectrex arcade too :)

 What sort of price range should I expect for a Vectrex CIB?

 

6 minutes ago, ubersaurus said:

Vectrex physics are all wrong to me. You accelerate way too fast and don't have the same drift as the PDP game.

 

Also the PDP doesn't have sound, so it's not that MAME is emulating it poorly - it just literally doesn't exist.

 

Ah, thought I heard sound in the PDP vid I saw. Basically what I'm looking for is an adaptation that doesn't exist and probably won't. I'd have to either program it myself or at least be a game director on a project involving its design. I don't know how to program, though I'd like to learn. Getting to a point, even if I started now, to where I could program what I want, the way I want...it's just not happening right now. I did hit up Kiwi awhile back, asking about hiring him to code it. He was too busy at the time. I don't even know what the going rate for such a thing would be. That might not be feasible for me. Anybody have a link to the "Game Director Signup" thread? 🖐️

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You are probably looking at an average of $500-600 complete in box in good shape.

Condition of box will be what makes it vary the most. For a not so great box you might get closer to $400.

But working loose ones seem to be averaging $300 alone. They dont seem to sell for under $250 anymore working.

Where a few years ago you could get a working one for $50-60 even.

Now the controllers even seem to usually pass $100.

But they are fun as hell and nobody can ever make a vector monitor again and i think people are realizing that.

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33 minutes ago, stupus said:

You are probably looking at an average of $500-600 complete in box in good shape.

Condition of box will be what makes it vary the most. For a not so great box you might get closer to $400.

But working loose ones seem to be averaging $300 alone. They dont seem to sell for under $250 anymore working.

Where a few years ago you could get a working one for $50-60 even.

Now the controllers even seem to usually pass $100.

But they are fun as hell and nobody can ever make a vector monitor again and i think people are realizing that.

 Thank you. What sort of condition should I expect at the higher end? Especially for the screen on the monitor?

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1 hour ago, stupus said:

But they are fun as hell and nobody can ever make a vector monitor again and i think people are realizing that.

It's a false opinion.

 

The tube in the Vectrex is your run-of-the-mill Samsung black and white tube. You may even have a black and white TV from the 80's in your house with the very same tube. (and samsung sold those to other manufacturers like Philips so that TV doesn't need to be a Samsung).

The driving circuit is also relatively simple, in fact it's much simpler that the regular circuit of a raster TV which need to be hyperprecise and timed.

Now of course it doesn't mean that anbody could make a Vectrex replacement display... but anyone with a medium knowledge of CRT TV could hack any TV for vector graphics (tho I'm not sure you could have a dual display able to do vectors and raster).

It's precisely why the Vectrex was made : it was rather EASY to make that vector display.

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Right, but at least here in the usa the production of ANY crt has been made illegal. And places have also stopped selling used ones anywhere i know of. Assuming it is still legal to commercially resell used ones but no resale places here do anymore. They all go to recycling....which really sucks.

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2 hours ago, MadZiontist said:

 Thank you. What sort of condition should I expect at the higher end? Especially for the screen on the monitor?

I would hope at that price a very nice one with no picture issues. Sadly stuff can go wrong at anytime of course. 

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10 minutes ago, stupus said:

I would hope at that price a very nice one with no picture issues. Sadly stuff can go wrong at anytime of course. 

Oh yeah I would expect no picture issues. I'm more so wondering about scratches/scuffs, etc.?  Being in the box doesn't really mean brand new. Wondering about the $500-$600 higher end, should I expect something that looks like it was never used, barely used with no scuffs/scratches, etc.. Sorry I realized I'm being "that guy". The topic just came up here. I'm going to quack at my friend DuckDuckGo, but maybe you already know if there's a sort of "scene standard Kelly Blue Book buyer's reference guide for vintage consoles" sort of thing, I'd appreciate it and that'd be teaching me to fish! 🎣

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There is a MiSTer FPGA core for PDP-1 that runs the original Spacewar:

There is also a Computer Space core, which is kind of a derivative / port of the original into a simpler hardware board.

Edited by Newsdee
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On 1/30/2020 at 12:48 PM, stupus said:

Right, but at least here in the usa the production of ANY crt has been made illegal. And places have also stopped selling used ones anywhere i know of. Assuming it is still legal to commercially resell used ones but no resale places here do anymore. They all go to recycling....which really sucks.

 

Wait, why is it illegal?  It's a glass tube.  I'm sure there's a stupid reason to ban them but it's not like they're made out of asbestos or cocaine.

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The glass contains 4-8 pounds of lead and its coated with toxic phosphorus on the inside lol

 

But it kept the radiation off us all those years!

 

And there is the implosion thing too.

 

Cocaine probably is safer :rolling:

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1 hour ago, stupus said:

The glass contains 4-8 pounds of lead and its coated with toxic phosphorus on the inside lol

 

But it kept the radiation off us all those years!

 

And there is the implosion thing too.

 

Cocaine probably is safer :rolling:

 

Whatever, I know of exactly zero people who suffered from TV tube exposure (and no TV tubes ever imploded unless it was done on purpose, I worked at a Sears Service Center in my youth where they'd destroy old defective TV tubes that were swapped out of repaired TVs by dumping the tube in a dumpster and busting it open with a bat, nobody died there, either).  Some people just love to complain and imagine crises where there are none.  Jeezus, I was in video arcades for most of the '80s, all those dangerous, lethal TV tubes and radiation bathing my growing body in death and disease, I should be dead 10 times over!  But then I can't buy a delicious Delaware Punch here anymore, either.  The syrup is made here, goddammit, it's then sent to Mexico where it's bottled and then, can't import the drink back in here because the red dye is verboten.  But at least the children were saved, our precious brittle children are free from the horrific tragedy of accidentally ingesting Delaware Punch internally, in their bodies!!

 

But back to the subject, the Vectrex version of Spacewar is fantastic, though the one-player A.I. is pretty predictable eventually.  But at least it has the option, the arcade game never did.

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Lol hey its not my rule!

Its more that they are a problem to be disposed of now. Sitting there its not like they are a problem. And lots of things that dont kill you on contact are not necessarily not bad for you.

I mean we used to play with liquid mercury blobs and have sword fights with old 4ft florescent tubes.....im alive but i would not recommend doing these activities.

Laws are made for what is convenient and profitable.....not so much for our health. Always subject to change based on that.

 

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On 1/30/2020 at 2:48 PM, stupus said:

Right, but at least here in the usa the production of ANY crt has been made illegal. And places have also stopped selling used ones anywhere i know of. Assuming it is still legal to commercially resell used ones but no resale places here do anymore. They all go to recycling....which really sucks.

I don't think it's been made illegal to Make/Sell CRTs, it's only illegal to throw them in the trash since they're classified as hazardous waste.

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There's a PDP Spacewar hack of Space Wars for the 2600 I found, by Rob Mitchell and Thomas Jentzsch. Haven't tried it yet, but it sounds cool. I ran across 7800 Spacewar!, but apparently the code was broken at some point in development, and I never found a ROM of the last working version. Thought I saw something about an Intellivision Spacewar! homebrew, but haven't turned anything up when looking for a ROM.

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I spend hours playing with my brothers.

Lots of fun. You can add or remove gravity, a planet, etc... you can even trade power and shield; so with gravity and planet you cna play indefinitively because either your opponent chip away all your shield or you burn all your power and crash. I don't know if that was in the original game but it make for interesting gameplay.

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Cinematronics Space War (1977) looks like a faithful conversion of the 1962 Spacewar.  It has nine difficulty settings and five game options.  Start at the fourth difficulty because the first three don't even have inertia.  It's easily emulated in mame.

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